September 13, 2018 – CASEY ALLEN – Bluegrass Sports Nation Breathitt Football Columnist
The Breathitt County Bobcats come into this week’s matchup with the Leslie County Eagles having flipped the script on their 2018 season. Coming off their first win, the Bobcats seem to now have momentum on their side. With each passing week, the Bobcats have steadily improved on both sides of the ball. Breathitt’s ability to both throw the ball, as well as run the rock, has developed the Bobcats into one the region’s most explosive offenses.
Braxton O’hara through four games has amassed 505 yards passing resulting in 10 touchdowns. O’hara’s favorite receiver, Brandyn Slaughter, has caught six touchdowns passes and totaled 413 yards. Jacob Noble has been a redzone target for O’hara catching three touchdowns on 32 yards receiving.
Breathitt’s ability to throw the ball wouldn’t be possible without the ability to keep defenses honest. By honest, I mean having to stop the run. Breathitt’s rushing attack is led by a three headed monster. Tyson Gross leads the Bobcats rushing attack with 267 yards and 4 touchdowns, including his 197 yards and 3 touchdowns against Prestonsburg last week. Dalton Manns has been Breathitt’s bruiser as he has blasted for 138 yards and a touchdown of his own. O’hara continues to display his dual threat ability scampering for nearly 300 yards himself.
Accolades and touchdowns usually go to the running backs, quarterbacks, and receivers. This Bobcat offense would be nothing without the emergence of their stout offensive line. Led by seniors Chase Banks, Nick Shelton, Braxton Eiserman, Ethan Moore and Dustin Deaton, the hogs have the Bobcats treading in the right direction.
As Breathitt reaches the midway point of their season, their record is 1-3, and will look to tighten some loose ends this week against Leslie County as District begins next week. Leslie County has yet to win a game, and have been outscored by their opponents 180-49. The Eagles will be fired up for their second home game of the season, after losing their home opener to 5A school South Laurel, 50-0.
Leslie County is led by sophomore quarterback Zack Parker. Parker has completed 50% of his passes for 499 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Bobcats will also see a heavy dose of runs by the Eagles. Senior tailbacks Luke Lewis and Taten Smith lead the Eagles in rushing. Smith has rushed for 238 yards and 2 touchdowns. He is averaging 6.4 yards a carry. Luke Lewis has added 103 yards and 2 touchdowns of his own.
If the Eagles want to pull off the upset Friday Night, they will need to control the clock and keep the Bobcat offense off the field. That’s a tall task for the Eagles as Breathitt’s defense has been just as good as their offense of late. Breathitt’s defense plays sideline to sideline, and has forced several turnovers, as well as standing their ground on multiple 4th and short situations. With Breathitt’s defense playing lights out, Breathitt Head Coach Kyle Moore has been able to open up the playbook offensively.
The familiar foes will take the field Friday Night with a forecast calling for rain. Both teams should be prepared as it has rained the last two Fridays. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 pm in Hyden. Hope to see you at the game, but you can’t make the trip, stay connected by visiting our Facebook page and our website at www.bluegrasssportsnation.com.